Direct Care Is Keeping Patients, And Private Practice Physicians Themselves, Alive.

Are you new to cash-only primary care i.e. direct care? Then check out this great blog post from William Rusnak. He outlines the benefits of modern concierge medicine and specifically our model of direct care.

Here in Wichita and in clinics across the country doctors are charging $50-100 per month for subscriptions that include unlimited physicals, free procedures and discounted labs, blood panels and prescriptions. As for more elaborate diagnostic tests and other procedures, physicians like us are negotiating dramatically discounted prices with outside vendors. As direct care physicians, we wind end up paying a fraction of the cost when compared to our typical insurance-accepting counterparts.

Anyway, consider our pricing structure of paying $50 per month per person, which ends up totaling $600 per year. Many insurance plans have at least $1000 deductibles, which means that you, the patient, could be paying $1000 for care anyway. And this care would generally be quick, impersonal, and overpriced. Direct care is clearly the better value.

Yes, there are some critics who claim we are performing elitist medicine. But direct care is likely the best bet for people that can afford an extra $50 a month for their healthcare. This is on par with the average cable and cellular phone bill.

Putting cost aside for a moment, consider the other benefits of eliminating the insurance overhead. For one, a doctor, who likely puts in many hours a week (and will be able to put in more under a direct-care model) keeping-up with the latest medical literature, will not be told how to take care of his patients. There’s no more calling insurance companies to convince them to pay for the services rendered. Doctors can get paid for a subscription — meaning in order to keep patients enrolled they have to practice good medicine. It also means they don’t have to perform gratuitous procedures and request extraneous labs and visits in order to turn a profit.

Most importantly, the patient-doctor relationship is revitalized. Stress is lowered — for both patients and doctors. The duration of the appointments are appropriate for the individual — as often and as long as necessary. This concept might seem foreign, especially if you’re used to visiting small urgent care centers for minor problems and hardly ever see your primary doctor for more than ten minutes per year. However, direct care providers like Atlas MD give you the extra time you need to answer important questions in person, either through email or text or Twitter… It’s about patient and doctor working together towards better health.

Finally, all physicians go into medicine because they want help people. Today’s hamster-wheel model of primary care is not going to satisfy the souls of doctors like ours. Dr. Josh Umbehr came out of med school and opened Atlas MD straight away. The data is out there. Doctors are burning out more and more, and earlier and earlier in their career. Direct care is the answer to doctors who want to keep their patients, and the private practice physician itself, alive.